Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Agarwal0118 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Agarwal, Amit
Application deadline:
15. Feb 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. May 2018

Project description:

Role of glial cells in neural circuits and fine-tuning of ensemble activity
The focal aim of my laboratory is to understand the functional significance of neuron-glia connections in the neural circuits, and their role in cognition, learning, and memory; and study how disturbances in these fine cellular interactions can contribute to various neurological and psychiatric disorders ranging from multiple sclerosis to autism.
Agarwal, A., Wu,, P.H., Hughes, E.G., Fukaya, M. Tischfield, M.A., Langseth, A.J., Wirtz, D., Bergles,, D.E. (2017) Transient opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore induces microdomain calcium transients in astrocyte processes. Neuron 93(3): 587-605

Perea, G., Gómez, R., Mederos, S., Covelo, A., Ballesteros, J.J., Schlosser, L., Hernández-Vivanco, A., Martín-Fernández, M., Quintana, R., Rayan, A., Díez, A., Fuenzalida, M., Agarwal, A., Bergles, D.E., Bettler, B., Manahan-Vaughan, D., Martín, E.D., Kirchhoff, F., Araque, A., (2017) Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks. eLife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.20362.

Otsu, Y., Couchman, K., Lyons, D.G., Collot, M., Agarwal, A., Mallet, J-M., Pfrieger, F.W., Bergles, D.E., Charpak,S. (2015) Calcium dynamics of astrocyte during neurovascular coupling. Nature Neuroscience. 18(2): 210-8

Paukert, M., Agarwal, A., Cha, J., Doze, V.A., Kang, J.U., Bergles D.E. (2014) Norepinephrine controls astroglial responsiveness to local circuit activity. Neuron. 82(6): 1263-70

Issa, J.B., Haeffele, B.D., Agarwal, A., Bergles, D.E., Young, E.D., Yue, D.T. (2014) Multiscale Optical Ca2+ Imaging of Tonal Organization in Mouse Auditory Cortex. Neuron. 83(4): 944-59

Agarwal, A., Bergles, D.E. (2014) Astrocyte morphology is controlled by neuron-derived FGF. Neuron. 83(2): 255-7

Agarwal, A., Dibaj P., Kassmann C.M., Goebbels S., Nave, K.-A., and Schwab, M. H. (2012) In vivo imaging and non-invasive ablation of pyramidal neurons in adult NEX-CreERT2 mice. Cerebral Cortex. 22(7): 1473-86
Methods that will be used:
Electrophysiology, optophysiology, multi-photon and light-sheet microscopy, mouse transgenics, histology (and tissue clearing), single-cell gene expression methodologies, and machine-learning based computational analysis methods (MATLAB/Python)
Cooperation partners:
My lab is collaborating with several local laboratories at the Heidelberg University and with the laboratories in the USA at the Johns Hopkins University, MIT and IBM Research.
Personal qualifications:
Previous research background in neuroscience and physiology is an advantage but is not required. The applicants with hands-on experience in neurophysiological methods, microscopy and computer programing in Matlab/Python will be strongly preferred. Excellent organizational skills, ability to work in a team and independently plan and conduct experimental research is essential. The working language of our laboratory is English, knowledge of the German language is not required.
neuroscience, physiology, brain, neural circuits, neuron-glia interactions, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, myelin, Ca2+ imaging, in vivo multi-photon microscopy, transgenic mice, advanced computational methods.